Thursday, October 26, 2017

Invention of bus in London

A brief history of bus service in London

In England the first bus service which was launched in 1662 was more like horse carriages and was invented by French mathematician Blaise Pascal. Decades after this invention took place, prototypical British gentleman scientist and inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney designed the steam-powered bus in 1830. Blaise Pascal named his public bus service in Paris ‘carriages’ but those buses ceased to operate after 15 years and they did not appear again until horse-powered multi-person carriages emerged in Paris again in about 1819 or 1820. "Omnibus" is a Latin word meaning "for all." They were more like modern-day buses custom made for passengers’ comfort, to transport multiple people along a route and allow them to board or debark at locations along the route without the necessity of having stations.

The first regular bus route appears to have started from Manchester to Liverpool, beginning in 1824. Ten years later steam-powered buses came into service in England. The Siemens brothers in 1882 invented the electric trolleycar which did not go into service carrying passengers until 1901 in Germany, and 1911 in England.
In 1827, George Shillibeer introduced the first school bus for Quaker school at Abney Park in Stoke Newington in the North-East of the United Kingdom. It was horse-drawn and designed to carry twenty-five children. 

Buses have been used on the streets of London since 1829, when George Shillibeer started operating his horse drawn omnibus service from Paddington to the city. In 1850 Thomas Tilling started horse bus services, and in 1855 the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) was founded to amalgamate and regulate the horse-drawn omnibus services then operating in London. LGOC began using motor omnibuses in 1902, and manufactured them itself from 1909. In 1904 Thomas Tilling started its first motor bus service. The last LGOC horse-drawn bus ran on 25 October 1911, although independent operators used them until 1914.
In 1909 Thomas Tilling and LGOC entered into an agreement to pool their resources. The agreement restricted the expansion of Thomas Tilling in London, and allowed the LGOC to lead an amalgamation of most of London's bus services. However, also in 1909 Thomas Clarkson started the National Steam Car Company to run steam buses in London in competition with the LGOC. In 1919 the National company reached agreement with the LGOC to withdraw from bus operation in London, and steam bus services ceased later that year

The first double-decker bus was invented in Paris in 1853; it was a horse-drawn omnibus. The upper floor was cheaper and often uncovered. The first double-decker motor bus in Paris, Schneider Brillié P2, appeared in 1906. It was designed to allow more passengers and to replace the horse-drawn double-decker omnibus.

In 1912 the Underground Group, which at that time owned most of the London Underground,  bought the LGOC. In 1933 the LGOC, along with the rest of the Underground Group, became part of the new London Passenger Transport Board. The name London General was replaced by London Transport, which became synonymous with the red London bus.
Bus numbers were first used in 1906. When the independent firms started in 1922, they used General route numbers, along with suffixes from the alphabet to denote branch routes. In 1924, under the London Traffic Act, the Metropolitan Police was given the authority of allocating route numbers, which all buses had to carry. This ultimately led to chaos and in the London Passenger Transport Act of 1933 the powers of allocating route numbers was taken away from the police and handed once again to professional busmen. Suffixes were gradually abolished over the decades, the last such route in London being the 77A, which became the 87 in June 2006.
The LPTB, under Lord Ashfield  donned responsibility for all bus services in the London Passenger Transport Area, an area with a radius of about 30 miles of central London. This included the London General country buses (later to be London Transport's green buses), Green Line Coaches and the services of several Tilling Group and independent companies.
London buses continued to operate under the London Transport name from 1933 to 2000, although the political management of transport services changed several times. The LPTB oversaw transport from 1933 to 1947 until it was re-organised into the London Transport Executive (1948 to 1962). Responsibility for London Transport was subsequently taken over to the London Transport Board (1963 to 1969), the Greater London Council (1970 to 1984) and London Regional Transport (1984 to 2000).
However, in 1969 legislation was passed to transfer the green country services, outside the area of the Greater London Council, to the recently formed National Bus Company. Trading under the name London Country the green buses and Green Line Coaches became the responsibility of a new NBC subsidiary, London Country Bus Services on 1 January 1970.
A former network of express buses operated by London Transport in central London was the Red Arrows. The routes, all numbered in the 500s, ran from main line stations to various locations in the West End and City. They were introduced in 1966 and expanded in 1968, but in the 1990s they were gradually phased out and only two former routes, 507 and 508, continued.
In 1979 the operation of London's buses under the GLC was divided among eight areas or districts. 


Friday, June 09, 2017


River Ganges in Rishikesh
The rivers of North India like the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra are snow fed since their affluents have their sources in glaciers which help them flow perennially. The main streams and tributaries draining the valleys in the glaciated region make waterfalls. The Indus, the Sutlej, the Brahmaputra have their sources in the southern part of the Tibetan plateau whose altitude above the sea level is less than that of the Great Himalayas.
So they cut very deep gorges where they cross the Himalayan ranges and thus they have developed antecedent drainage. An antecedent stream maintains its original course and pattern despite the changes in underlying rock topography. These rivers are fed not only by monsoon rains during the month of June to September, but also by the glaciers round the year.
The Ganga (about 2071kmlong) and is eight major tributaries -- the Yamuna, Ramaganga, Sarda, Gharghara, Rupti, Gandak, Bagmoti and Kosi, Mahananda, Chambal emerging out of the Himalaya flow eastwards over the Ganga plains. The Yamuna and Son are its major right bank tributaries.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Friday, March 03, 2017

Dhananjay Chatterjee's Execution

Criminal Justice

Dhananjay Chatterjee was a guard in a building where a teen-aged girl named Hetal Parekh was found dead in March 1990. He was convicted of having raped and killed her and was hanged on his 39th birthday, August 14, 2004, protesting his innocence until the end. His execution followed a shrill campaign waged by the wife of the then West Bengal chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. Chatterjee’s appeals were rejected by the then president APJ Abdul Kalam on the advice of arguably India’s worst home minister, Shivraj Patil, going by historian Ramachandra Guha’s estimation. In a similar situation, his predecessor in Rashtrapati Bhavan, KR Narayanan, had applied his mind wonderfully, as emerges from an anecdote narrated by his secretary, Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Delivering the People’s Union of Civil Liberties’ 35th JP Memorial Lecture in Bangalore on March 23 in 2015 earlier this year, Gandhi described how he had received a call late at night from Chennai regarding the case of a man on death row in Tamil Nadu and how the president had unhesitatingly decided on commuting his sentence. Gandhi went on to speak of the independent and cerebral outlook that India’s sole Dalit president brought to his job. As for Dhananjay Chatterjee’s execution, the People’s Union for Democratic Rights, a four-decades-old New Delhi-based volunteer outfit, put out a statement on July 21, 2015 based on an analysis by two scholars from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, arguing that the guard was framed.
The analysis by Debashish Sengupta and Prabal Chaudhury, timed to coincide with the Law Commission’s Public Hearing on the death penalty in New Delhi on Saturday, July 11, described what they believe was a botched investigation. They also highlighted inconsistencies in the evidence and pointed to fictitious claims, all aimed, they say, to frame Chatterjee. The two scholars noted that a police witness in court denied having seen Chatterjee at the victim’s flat. The police seizure list was signed by someone who supplied tea to the police and did not turn up in court. The antecedents of some items presented as incriminating evidence, such as a necklace and a watch, were never checked. The trial court failed to question why no murder weapon was recovered and why there was no blood on Chatterjee’s clothes even though there were 21 stab wounds on the victim’s body. While the crime was said to have been committed in a short window between 5:20 pm and 5:50 pm, when Hetal Parekh’s mother was out of the flat, there was a three-hour delay before the police were called – ample time for tampering with the evidence. The Parekh family members’ statements were inconsistent, and the family soon wrapped up its thriving jewellery business and left Kolkata, raising the possibility of an honour killing, the scholars contend. A letter written by the victim’s father alleging that Chatterjee used to harass his daughter, which was used by the police to establish a motive, seems to have been written after the crime, the scholars say. Chatterjee had spent 14 years in jail before he was hanged. He was thus punished twice for a crime he likely did not commit, going by the Kolkata scholars’ analysis, for the mere fault of being too poor to engage a competent lawyer.

Dhananjay admits to murder, but not rape

Dhananjay Chatterjee's diary should make interesting reading. For one, it is an attempt to get under the skin of crime by a criminal waiting to be hanged. And, two, it insists that he did not rape Hetal Parekh after she came back home from a history examination. Murder, yes, but rape, no way. This January, when the government had pulled itself up to settle the case once and for all, that a jail official asked him to maintain a diary. A pencil and some note-pads were given to him but Chatterjee waited for June to really immerse himself in the diarist's job.
The product might just surprise everyone, feels prisons officials who are keeping a close tab on Chatterjee. The diary had the usual autobiographical inputs but, somewhere down the line, changed its tone. Somebody told Dhananjoy that he must analyse the reasons behind the gory murders taking place daily. "Why should you limit yourself to your life?" the officials supposedly suggested.
Chatterjee agreed. He was always an avid reader of newspapers and kept a watch on the the things around him. "This was how it started," a prisons department official added. Officials still do not know Chatterjee's analysis of crime and criminals but say that Dhananjay is insisting, even in his "autobiographical" diary, that he did not rape Hetal Parekh.
Little that they have been allowed into some of the pages, they believe that Chatterjee is only admitting to the murder. Chatterjee has also turned "religious" with a vengeance, say officials. Always "apparently god-fearing", he is now an avid reader of the Gita, a copy of which was given to him as the country was debating whether he should be hanged for what he did 14 years ago.

 President Kalam rejects Dhananjay's mercy petition

August 04, 2004 17:15 IST
President A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday rejected the mercy petition of Dhananjoy Chatterjee.The President decided to reject the petition after he had discussions with legal experts, including Attorney General Milon Banerji. A West Bengal trial court had sentenced him to death, which was confirmed by the high court and the Supreme Court, for raping and murdering 14-year-old school girl Hetal Parekh in 1990. Sources in Rashtrapati Bhawan told that the President signed the rejection of the mercy petition late last night. The petition was moved by Dhananjay's wife and brother two and a half months ago. The mercy petition was sent by the home ministry for the President's consideration about a month back. This was Dhananjoy's second mercy petition before the President. His first one was rejected on June 23, 1994. The execution order was confirmed by a division bench of the Calcutta high court comprising Justice M K Mukherjee and Justice J N Hore on August 7, 1992. The convict moved the Supreme Court and his appeal was dismissed by a division bench comprising Justice A S Anand and Justice N P Singh on January 11, 1994. His review petition before the apex court was also rejected on January 20, 1994. He then moved a mercy petition before the West Bengal Governor on February 2, 1994, which was rejected on February 16 the same year.
Following this, he had moved a mercy petition before the President, on February 17, 1994, which was rejected on June 23 the same year. Since his death sentence in 1992 by the sessions court for the gruesome act, Dhananjoy has successfully used loopholes in the legal procedures to escape the gallows for over a decade. Chatterjee had once before escaped the noose by a whisker in 1994, when he got a stay on his execution from the Calcutta high court and the Supreme Court.
He had moved the high court a day before February 25, 1994, the date fixed for his execution and obtained a stay from the court on the ground that he had moved a mercy petition before the President on February 17. On the same day (February 24) his wife Purnima had moved the apex court seeking a stay on execution on the ground that she be allowed time to move a mercy petition before the President.  The apex court granted the stay for a week till March 4 and a communique was received by the West Bengal Judicial Department the same evening about the stay, just hours before the scheduled execution at 4.30 a.m the next morning. He managed two more extensions on the stay by the high court and then an unlimited stay till disposal of his petition by the President, suppressing the fact that his wife had also obtained a stay on his execution from the apex court giving the same reason, public prosecutor for state before the high court, Kaji Safiullah.
While the mercy petition was rejected by the President on June 23, 1994, the state government did not take any step to vacate the stay by the high court, till it came to the notice of a Judicial Department officer in October 2003.
Once the high court was informed of the situation by the judicial department, the then Chief Justice A K Mathur assigned the matter to Justice D P Sengupta and the stay was vacated in November last.
An appeal against this order by Dhananjoy was also rejected by a division bench of the High Court a month later.
Dhananjoy had been convicted on three counts-- Section 302 (murder) IPC for which the execution order was given, Section 376 (rape) IPC for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment and Section 380 (theft inside house) IPC, for  which he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
Dhananjoy was sentenced to death on August 12, 1991, by the Second Additional Session Judge, Alipur, R N Kali.
The execution order was confirmed by a division bench of the Calcutta high court comprising Justice M K Mukherjee and Justice J N Hore on August 7, 1992.
The convict moved the Supreme Court and his appeal was dismissed by a division bench comprising Justice A S Anand  and Justice N P Singh on January 11, 1994.
His review petition before the apex court was also rejected on January 20, 1994.
He then moved a mercy petition before the West Bengal Governor on February two, 1994, which was rejected on February 16 the same year.
Following this, he had moved a mercy petition before the President, on February 17, 1994, which was rejected on June 23 the same year.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government said it was yet to receive any formal communication from the Union law ministry about initiating the process of execution of Dhananjay Chatterjee.
"We have heard about it, but no formal communication has been received from the Centre yet," official sources said in Kolkata.
Neither the Chief Secretary nor the Home Secretary of the state were available for comment. The office of the State Advocate General said it would take some time for the secretariat of the AG to receive a formal communication in this regard.
With inputs from Press Trust of India
WITH President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam rejecting the mercy petition, the noose will tighten around the neck of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who has been awaiting the execution of the death penalty for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Hetal Parekh on March 15, 1990. This was the second mercy petition of the convict to the President. He has been lodged in the Alipore Central jail in Kolkata for 14 years. The first petition was rejected in 1994.
The convict's family members are not willing to give up. Even as the West Bengal government set in motion the formalities to execute the rapist-killer after receiving a formal communication from the Union Home Ministry, his brother is said to have sought a copy of the letter issued by the President rejecting clemency in order to take the next legal course under Article 32 of the Constitution. (Article 32 confers the right to move the Supreme Court for enforcement of fundamental rights.) Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who worked as a lift operator in the building where Hetal Parekh and her family lived, raped and killed the girl when she returned to an empty flat from school. The Alipore Sessions Court awarded Dhananjoy Chatterjee life imprisonment for rape and a death sentence for murder. The sentence was upheld both by the High Court and the Supreme Court, and the Governor of West Bengal rejected the plea for mercy filed by the convict's relatives. In February 1994, Dhananjoy obtained an interim stay from the High Court. More than nine years later, in September 2003, his petition for commutation of his sentence owing to the delay in its execution was quashed by the High Court, and Dhananjoy Chatterjee appealed to the Supreme Court. In February the Supreme Court referred his mercy petition to the Governor for reconsideration. The Governor once again rejected the petition and Dhananjoy was scheduled to be hanged to death at 4-30 a.m. on June 25.
But Dhananjoy's life was once again prolonged when a communique from the Union Home Ministry asked the State government to postpone the hanging until President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam gave his opinion on a mercy petition filed by Dhananjoy Chatterjee's family and several social organisations. When the President's office sought the State government's views on the matter, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government made it clear that it fully supported the death sentence. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said: "The government and I are in favour of the death sentence in this particular case. The Centre has been informed of this. The message should go loud and clear to the perpetrators of such crime."
Following Governor Viren J. Shah's rejection of his clemency petition, Dhananjoy Chatterjee petitioned the Supreme Court, which refused to entertain the petition as the matter was being examined by the President under Article 72 of the Constitution. Dhananjoy's case further weakened when on July 2 the Home Ministry recommended his execution to the President.
With the hangman's noose now looming large over Dhananjoy, the debate that is raging is not whether he deserves to be hanged but whether capital punishment is necessary in today's' society.
Those who knew Hetal feel that Dhananjoy deserves nothing less than the death penalty. Gillian Rosemary D'Costa Hart, principal of Welland Gouldsmith School, where Hetal studied, said, "Hetal was one of our brightest students. A lovely girl who met a very ghastly end. If Dhananjoy is hanged the pain won't disappear, but there would be some kind of justice." On the other hand, Dhananjoy's relatives and friends from his village in Bankura district have continuously appealed to the Governor and the courts for clemency. His family members, including his wife and his aged, ailing parents, sat in dharna in front of the Press Club in Kolkata, and threatened to commit suicide if Dhananjoy was hanged.
Kolkata is deeply divided over the issue. While numerous human rights organisations and non-governmental organisations have been protesting against the death sentence and have been petitioning the Governor and the President for commutation of the sentence, there is an equal number of outraged citizens who feel that the rapist-killer deserves to be hanged.
Film director Mrinal Sen told Frontline: "I have always been against capital punishment. The death penalty is a cruel and brutal practice. I am not saying this in defence of Dhananjoy Chatterjee. I have nothing but contempt for that man. But I am against any kind of brutality. Let him be punished for the rest of his life for what he has done. I feel extremely sad for parents, relatives and friends of the girl he killed. But brutality is not an answer to brutality."
Writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi said: "You cannot bring down the crime rate by awarding capital punishment." She feels that Dhananjoy should be given an opportunity to reform himself. But Meera Bhattacharjee, the Chief Minister's wife, feels that no mercy should be shown to Dhananjoy. Speaking at a debate on the issue, she made an emotional plea: "I have come here as a woman and the mother of a daughter. I know what the parents of Hetal Parekh have been going through for the past 14 years." Teary-eyed, she recounted with graphic details how the girl was mercilessly battered and raped and finally strangled with the rope of a swing that broke her voice box. "Can you still have thoughts of forgiving him?" she asked the gathering.
Although CPI(M) State secretary Anil Biswas is personally against the death sentence, he said, "At the same time we should not lose sight of the enormity and the gravity of Dhananjoy's crime."
Life imprisonment is all Dhananjoy wanted. He reportedly told the sentry guarding him the night before he was supposed to be hanged on June 25, "Look, my palm has no line of death, just a line of punishment."
According to various psychiatrists in Kolkata, Dhananjoy's behaviour and unruffled countenance as seen during the recent trial is that of an inveterate psychopath.
Consultant neuropsychiatrist Dr. Shiladitya Ray of Belle Vue clinic and Ruby General Hospital said: "I would expect any normal person to be a wreck by now. But his appearance and body language show that he is unrepentant and just doesn't care. For normal people such a situation brings about severe depression, absolute insomnia and food refusal, and psychomotor retardation. He has hardly shown any of these symptoms." According to him, for a "characterologic reformation" a stable baseline is a precondition. "History and precedence has shown that such people cannot be reformed," he said.
The fact that Dhananjoy's case had been scrutinised at all levels of the judiciary and went through the procedure for pardon only shows that it is in fact one of the rarest of rare cases in which capital punishment has been awarded.
A man convicted of raping and killing a schoolgirl 14 years ago has been executed in India.
Dhananjoy Chatterjee, 39, was hanged at dawn at the Alipore Central Jail in Calcutta where he had spent the last 13 years in solitary confinement.
Chatterjee was convicted for the 1990 rape and murder of 16-year-old Hetal Parekh, who lived in the building where he worked as a security guard.
“Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged at 0430 am,” Inspector General of Prisons Joydeb Chakraborty told reporters. Chatterjee’s family did not collect his body for cremation
Dhananjoy Chatterjee, the rapist and killer of 14-year-old schoolgirl Hetal Parekh, was hanged to death today at Alipore Central Jail sharp at 4-30 in the morning, ending a prolonged chapter of legal battle over his crime and punishment, his life and death. It also ended the continuing hopes, anxieties and agonies of Dhananjoy’s parents, wife and other relatives at their remote Kuldihi village home in Bankura, about 200 km from here.
Dhananjoy was subsequently cremated at the Keoratala burning ghat in Kalighat, south Kolkata under heavy police escort. None of his family members was present either at the Alipore jail or the Keoratala burning ghat.

Dhananjoy’s last wishes of donating his eyes and kidneys for the cause of humanity, however, could not be fulfilled as “no objection” to this act, had not been obtained at the last moment from his family, the IG (Prison), Mr Jaidev Chakraborty regretted. He said Dhananjoy was perfectly in good spirits and there was no resistance from his side when he had been brought to the gallows and put on the deck for hanging. He kept silent all through as if he had been reconciled with the situation. However, at the penultimate moment, he became a bit philosophical and was heard saying, “Oh God, let there be good to all,’’ the IG said describing Dhananjoy’s last moments.
Dhananjoy had a sound sleep last night after he had been administered a heavy dose of sleeping injection. He had his supper with roti, fish curry and vegetables. At noon during lunch he had been served with rice, fish, fried vegetables and dahi as desired by him. Throughout the day till late evening, Dhananjoy listened to Anup Jalota’s bhajans and Manna Dey’s songs on a tape-recorder which the jail authorities had arranged for him as he wished. But most of the time, he maintained a deep silence. He wanted to write something to his parents and wife on the postcards supplied to him, but he could not complete his writing. The hangman, Nata Mallick, declared soon after the hanging that it was his last act as hangman. Eightyfour-year-old Mallick, who had so far acted as hangman in 25 cases since Independence, will now start a new livelihood by selling puja items on the streets near a Kali temple.
Dhananjoy did not resist at the time of being hanged, but some human rights organisations, including the APDR, brought out a protest march from South Kolkata to Alipore Central Jail last night, demanding the suspension of his death penalty. On the other hand, teachers and students of Well & Goldsmith School, of which Hetal was a student, today held a prayer meeting inside the school campus in the memory of Hetal as well as Dhananjoy. At the remote village home in Bankura, Dhananjoy’s parents and other family members spent silent hours, refusing to meet and talk to outsiders.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cauvery Row


 Cauvery row

Where is Mandyada Gandu (Mandya's man)?" a youth asks sarcastically. His reference is to Mandya MLA, Ambareesh, also a popular actor in the Kannada film industry. Ambareesh who was
Karnataka Housing minister in the Siddaramaiah government till 2015, had starred in Kannada film 'Mandyada Gandu' in 1994 and the popular title song is a number still hummed by every Mandya resident. The youth says the fact that Ambareesh has not made an appearance, rankles.
Perhaps that is why in the cover of darkness before day break on Wednesday morning, a former Congress MP drove from Bengaluru to Mandya. The leader was walking on eggshells, trying to justify the Siddaramaiah government's decision to abide by the Supreme Court order while agreeing with the farmers' angst.
"I told the farmers we will file a review petition in the court. It is a difficult situation and I saw that our farmers are famished. But we have to abide by the SC order. As a state, we cannot defy it, can we," the former MP reasoned.
Asking for anonymity the politician said that because on the way back to Bengaluru, burning tree logs and tyres that dotted the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway gave the ex-MP a good-enough indication of the simmering anger on the ground. The farmers have moved from the fields to the road and the political establishment is finding the sojourn difficult.
A rebellious farmer Satish, one of the many angry men you may come across in Mandya, voiced the banner of revolt. "There is no water for us or my cattle. How will I provide fodder for my cattle," he asks. He threatens to leave his cattle outside the Mandya district collector's office. "I will take them back when we get water," he says.

The political Opposition watches from Bengaluru as the farmers take over their space in the Cauvery belt. Accusing Siddaramaiah of not protecting Kannadiga interests, the farmers say he has failed them for the second time in two years. Kurubur Shanthakumar, the president of the Karnataka Sugarcane Farmers Association points out that Siddaramaiah fiddled while 1560 farmers killed themselves in 2015-16.
Farmers, adopting a strident tone, had asked Siddaramaiah to defy the court order. "Don't release the water, let there be contempt of court," said Shanthakumar on Tuesday morning. By evening, the decision of the chief minister to release 15000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for the next ten days was like the last straw on the camel's back.
"He is anti-farmer. At least 258 farmers killed themselves in one year in the Cauvery delta of Mandya and Mysuru, which is Siddaramaiah's backyard. He did nothing. Now more will die because of no water," says Shanthakumar.
The opposition says Siddaramaiah is to blame for mishandling of the situation. His irrigation minister MB Patil had upped the ante in the week leading up to the order, making Kannadiga farmers believe that water will not be released. "With a rainfall deficit, we have very little water in the four Cauvery dams. We also need it for farming needs and to supply drinking water to Bengaluru, Mysuru and other towns in south Karnataka," Patil had said.
"You made it into an all or nothing game, when the law clearly says water has to be shared," says Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka. "Political leaders should not have given false hopes. Instead they should have communicated that Karnataka will try to minimise the discharge as much as possible."
With the Cauvery belt in protest mode, the Congress is on the back foot. The party's original game-plan was to blame the BJP for its inability to rein in Tamil Nadu government. It was not a strategy that will find takers, was the counter view within the party. Some sections argued in favour of playing to the gallery by refusing to part with a drop of water. But wiser counsel prevailed and Siddaramaiah was advised not to take on the Supreme court. The court had asked Karnataka to "live and let live" last week but it looks like on this side of the Cauvery, the Congress will have to pay a heavy political price.
The Congress is now trying to change the narrative by pointing out that in a similar situation in 2012-13, the then BJP government in Karnataka led by Jagdish Shettar had released 10000 cusecs of water for nine days.
Siddaramaiah's legal team in fact, had offered to give 10000 cusecs in its petition to the court. When Tamil Nadu demanded 20000 cusecs, the court arrived at the compromise figure of 15000 cusecs. Critics now ask if the situation was so precarious, why did Siddaramaiah offer even 10000 cusecs in Delhi, while adopting a 'not a drop to spare' stand in Bengaluru.
Karnataka is in turmoil and will stay 'bandh' on Friday. Even otherwise, in view of the situation, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation has suspended bus services into Karnataka. Tamil movies have been taken off screens in Bengaluru and the city Tamil Sangam leaders met Karnataka home minister to ensure the safety of the sizeable Tamilian population living in the state capital.
Meanwhile, as the Cauvery water quietly flows into Tamil Nadu, there is a sense of relief. But the lower riparian state is only too aware that it just a small battle won in the Cauvery war that has raged on since 1892 when Tamil Nadu was Madras Presidency and Karnataka was the princely kingdom of Mysore.
While the state government is no mood to defy the Supreme court order, they do feel that the ground situation is quite grim and it will become increasingly difficult for the state to release water if the rains continue to fail.
The state of Karnataka will appeal in the Supreme court on Monday seeking relief on the decision of the apex court asking for the release of 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for their Samba crop cultivation. While the state government is in no mood to defy the Supreme Court order, they do feel that the ground situation is quite grim and it will become increasingly difficult for the state to release water if the rains continue to fail. "One thing is certain that we have to respect the judgement of the SC.  The advocates appealed to them and expressed the distress situation, may be our advocate with a larger heart, thinking that it will resolve the issue for some time, he showed a bit of open-heartedness , saying atleast 10,000 cusecs of water will be released , so that this problem will be solved, but that itself has become a bigger issue now, said the Karnataka home minister Dr G Parameshwara. The Karnataka Home minister has appealed to the people of Karnataka not to indulge in any form of violence.

While petitioning the Supreme court, Karnataka has sought a meeting with the Cauvery supervisory committee, which consists of the members of the Central Water Commission to reschedule the release of water in case of distress. What this means is that if the state faces shortage of water due to poor rains or drought, then the release of water to TN may be spaced out.
According to the  Cauvery river tribunal which passed its decision in 2007, the state of Karnataka had been directed to release 192 TMC feet of water to Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry in a year.  Due to poor monsoons in 2016, Karnataka has been able to release only 36 TMC of water as compared to 94 TMC that it should have released during this monsoon.
This is not the first time that the state of Karnataka has been forced to release water despite poor rains. Under the government of HD Deve Gowda (JDS), S M Krishna (Congress) and Jagdish Shettar (BJP) water was released to TN despite scanty rains. Then too it was done on the basis of the advice given by the state legal counsel Fali Nariman.
This time, the decision by Fali Nariman came under sharp criticism by the opposition who said that the legal counsel should not have agreed to release water. But the Karnataka Chief minister has come in defence of the legal counsel saying that the decision was taken based on the situation in court.
Speaking to select media on the Cauvery issue, Siddaramaiah said, "Some people are trying to attribute that Nariman made a mistake and that's why we were forced to release water." But he has done so keeping in mind the situation in the court room. Nariman has been senior counsel for Karnataka for the last 32 years. He told us that on October 18, the main Special leave petition which Karnataka has filed against the order of the Cauvery tribunal will be coming up for final hearing. We should keep that in mind and act. This is why he thought it fit to do the good gesture.
What's the ground situation?

  1. Storage Water in Mettur (TN) is 36 TMC.

  2. Ground water in Tamil Nadu can be found within four to five metres.

  3. In Karnataka ground water is found only at 1000 feet.

  4. Karnataka faced drought in 2015

  5. Rain deficit of 40 per cent in 2016 August compared to Tamil Nadu that has received very good north east monsoons and even faced floods in2015.

  6. As of now Karnataka has only 46.7 TMC of water and this will be needed till June 2017.

  7. Bengaluru and Mysuru need close to 28 TMC of water for drinking purposes.

  8. 47 TMC is required for agricultural purposes.

  9. Karnataka needs a total of 75 TMC of water and as of now has only 46.7 TMC.